What Do Thoughts Think About?

FTM_depression CROPWant to make someone pause? Ask them, “What do thoughts think about?” Ask yourself.

Try to think about something that is not a thought — if you can, let me know! Why is this important? Well, most significantly it means you cannot think about yourself! You can only think about thoughts about your IDEA of self. This means the REAL You is off the hook! No blame, no shame — your story is not about you, it is about an idea of you.  Thoughts can only think about other thoughts!

A common response, “But who is the real me then?” You cannot answer this with thought — that would just be thoughts thinking about thoughts, but you can experience yourself beyond all thinking, beyond all description and story. This is the experience of freedom and spontaneity. This is the experience of being Awake (from the thought/trance of self).

This is not an unusual experience — it happens when we lose our self in a laugh or sneeze; it happens with a surprise like a trip or slap in the face. But this moment beyond the mind, when thoughts are stopped, is so brief that we miss it.

The question I repeatedly contemplate is, “How can I use this in my therapy practice and in my life?” I am familiar with this insight and how to practice with it but I still have to practice and re-remind myself that thoughts are thinking about other thoughts and that I am not a thought – not who I think I am. The problem is that I get involved with thoughts with my body mind and emotions — know what I mean? Go through this with me:

  • The first step is to practice noticing and watching thinking, as it is, without any motivation to improve it, escape from it, or stop it — just to practice the skill of watching and noticing, without commentary. You also watch emotional feelings and bodily sensations and other sensory information You notice and watch how quickly sense data gives rise to thinking and to thinking centered on the IDEA of self.
  • Now, commentary will come in. Just watch it, too. This is the tricky part because we are so conditioned to listen to thoughts and to be lead around by them, that we forget watching and noticing every few seconds as a thought hypnotizes us into being the idea of self versus watching the ideas of self go by like clouds in the sky: “What good is this going to do?” “This is boring?” “Isn’t there a more interesting practice?”"I think I really need to work on myself.”
  • These are all just thought, thought, thought, thought. They are very seductive, no? They will pull you right out of watching into their dramas. If and when that happens, go back to noticing and watching as soon as you notice you are not watching. Here is a tip — discouragement, boredom, and irritation are all thoughts, too. Watch and notice them.
  • Do this for just 5 minutes a day if that’s all you can manage. Practice to develop the strength of your capacity to watch and notice uninterruptedly. This is the secret to experiencing the freedom that we already are.

As always, sharing and questions are welcome!

Email: jack@FindingTrueMagic.com. Good luck!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

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Short & Sweet — Healing Negative Self Talk and Self Hatred

SelfLove

A big part of the transformational process is challenging negative self talk (mean and nasty internal dialogue) again and again to look at and to cut through the roots and causes of self hatred.

I have been struck lately by several clients’ acceptance of negative self talk and judgments – what they describe as self-judgment and self-hatred. Along with this mind state comes the fear of criticism from others, as if it was a fact of nature that they are deserving of just about any negative judgment that comes their way.

We work to recognize, in a living way, that this negative self talk, this judgment of being — this judgment about our value as beings — is not only painful, but also cripples our ability to celebrate life. And this negative voice is always spouting falsehoods. It tells us out-and-out lies!

We can rightly discern the appropriateness of our thinking, speech, and actions, but deficiencies in these areas do not change the value of our being.

Consider the source of judgment of worth — who has the right to attack your worth? No one! What merit gives anyone, including yourself, the right to attack your worth? No merit!

So don’t wait another minute – be done with it! Focus repeatedly on the difference between Being/Worth — which cannot be judged, and activity of thought, speech, and body — which can be evaluated (with respect for Being/Worth) and improved upon.

The solution is short and sweet. Evaluate the nature of this type of judgmental thinking and aggressively and passionately be done with it by seeing what can be judged and what is beyond judgment.

This is the simplest yet most crucial and most challenging distinction for us to make. And most of don’t make it! The key is repeated attention to the distinction, and repeatedly reminding ourselves of the distinction as we recognize ever time wrong-headed thinking tries to hypnotize us.

Thaw the frozen river of Joy within! (How does one melt ice? Constantly focus warmth on it.)

To focus the warmth of self compassion on your own being, listen to one of our most popular audios, Becoming Fearless and Compassionate. Try it for at least 3 days in a row.

Like an Olympic athlete, you can overcome negative self talk and rise to heights of self-confidence you may never have thought were possible.

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

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8 Secrets of Successful Dating – Who Hypnotizes Whom?

Children Sharing_SM_vintage_sepiaYou can learn to enjoy yourself pursuing relationships if you know the secrets to relating and then practice them. Beyond making sure you offer a common-sense, clean physical presentation (you should know most people like this), the essential secret is to be yourself.

When you hear this, do you usually start imagining how you would act and speak if you were being yourself? If so, it is probably very frustrating, because imagining acting like yourself is an artificial activity.

The first step is to relax into yourself and appreciate yourself. You will notice a lot of thoughts, a lot of thinking about yourself. Start to pay careful attention to the way you talk to yourself. All language is hypnotic, and you are already a master at self-hypnosis – just an unaware master.

If you have trouble being yourself, you’re not just experiencing an awkwardness about how to speak or act. The awkwardness is a by-product of not allowing yourself to feel what you really feel and to know and pursue what you truly care about. Lack of awareness of these crucial aspects of self-knowledge is maintained by your inner hypnotic self-talk. To gain further awareness, read on . . . .

1. Approach Your Fear

When it comes to approaching and meeting women or men, what is there to fear? Rejection?
That’s half the fun! Seriously!

To be successful in connecting with someone you’re interested in, the first approach to make is to approach yourself. Approach your fear – and your fearful thinking. Fearful thinking literally turns your perceptions and judgments upside down. You think good is bad, front is back, and down is up.

For example, what makes rejection so terrible? Nothing, really. But fear blinds you to this fact. Notice how creative you are at generating vivid internal movies and fearful voiceovers that keep you terrified of the possibility of being rejected.

2. Your Perceptions Don’t Cause Anything

One way you hypnotize yourself is by mistaking perceptions for causes. You perceive through your 6 senses. There are the 5 outer senses, plus the inner mind sense that perceives thinking and emotions. Perceptions are just objects in awareness. They do not do anything and they do not mean anything. If a woman or a man smiles at you or glares at you or walks away from you or laughs at you or hugs you, you simply perceive the behavior. It doesn’t mean anything about you. It just is what it is: a perceived behavior.

Even though you think you’re afraid of someone, you are not afraid of perceptions. You can only be afraid in reaction to meaning. And perceptions have no inherent meaning about you. What you think about a perception gives it its fearful meaning. That meaning can affect your emotional state . . . but only according to how firmly you choose to believe in the meaning you have created.

You create the meaning and then you react to it.

The good news is that you, therefore, are in total control of the production of your fear and as well as the annihilation of your fear. Your belief in your thinking is the cause of your emotional state. The perceived object is not the cause.

Whether a woman or man smiles or frowns at you, you can keep your self respect, as long as you don’t play the inner game with yourself. As long as you don’t play the self-hypnotic game of convincing yourself, through some inner mental creation, that her response gives or takes away your essential value and your self-respect.

3. You’re in Control (Really)

A common response from clients, when I point this out, is, “It doesn’t feel like I’m in control.”

You don’t feel like you are in control of keeping your balance when you walk or ride a bike either, but you are. It doesn’t feel like it because you have mastered the control and you don’t have to focus conscious attention on the process as you once did when learning.

Through your conscious attention and effort, you taught your body — your unconscious mind — to master the process. So now it’s very difficult for the conscious mind to take back the control. You can prove this to yourself with a simple experiment: Try to intentionally fall over.

It’s going to take some effort to take back control that is located in another “part” of you.
You create meaning by scanning your perceptions and then relating them to past similar perceptions to which you’ve already attached a story, or meaning. You assign to the present situation the same meaning you’ve already attached to a similar situation in your past.

The ability to create such equivalence is a valuable ability. It’s called creating anchored associations. Anchored associations make it easy to recognize general classes of objects such as tables and chairs so you can easily navigate the world.

But this scanning and associating function causes fear and suffering when it highlights superficial similarities and misses significant differences.

If you hear someone speak in a loud angry voice similar to the one your father used when you were a little boy or girl, you may become terrified on the spot, because your mind immediately brings up the memories of witnessing your father’s anger.

To the degree that you are feeling afraid and small, your mind is giving great value to a superficial similarity — the angry voice. At the same time, your mind is completely overlooking significant differences, such as the fact that you are all grown up now, that it is 20 or 30 years later, that this is not your father who’s speaking to you, and that you are not in the living room of the home where you and your father lived when you were a little girl or boy.

4. Maintain Your Adult Perspective

I define ‘Adult’ as any person who has a functioning, moment by moment, self-validating awareness. In the example above, the consciousness in the grown-up body is not self-validating. Fear is present because the “person” in the body has instantly regressed to the perspective of a naïve child standing in the presence of a seemingly all-powerful, mysterious god-like being.

(As a small child, you instinctively sensed your parents had the power of life or death for you – that is the definition of a god.)

It makes sense for a child to be afraid in this scenario, but it doesn’t make sense for an adult to be afraid.

Self-validating function has many important aspects:

  •  It accurately labels fearful emotions as being childlike states of mind
  •  It holds these childlike states as objects in awareness, not as self
  •  It holds present time awareness of self-identity and stays connected to all the accumulated wisdom of having lived many years into “adulthood”
  •  It appreciates it has the power to take care of oneself.
  •  It understands the naïve and gullible mind of the child and its lack of power
  •  It nurtures the child state as if being sought out by a child needing protection — instead of disappearing into the child state
  •  It responds appropriately to present time perceptions without projecting the “reality” of the child’s situation and emotionality on to the present time situation.

Reconsider feeling afraid about approaching someone you’d like to meet and get to know, in the light of these points. To feel afraid you would have to assume that the person’s behaviors and presumed judgments have tremendous power over you. You would have to make that person’s responses and possible value judgments the source of your validation in the world.

Do you see that this is an anchored reaction issuing from the perspective of a small child? That it’s an instant hypnotic induction into “small child trance”? The mere perception of a female or male body that attracts you, triggers the mind into lightning-fast associations with child-parent dynamics full of hope for love and validation, as well as a mortal fear of losing the parent.

If at that moment you are not in a self-validating state of awareness, then the childlike state, the hypnotic induction, takes over, intensely desires support, and becomes even more desperate if support is withheld (“I can’t take care of myself!”).

When you approach others, not just potential partners, keep in mind that childlike states are powerfully anchored and that fearful ones get triggered very easily in most people. This happens in response to our perceptions of essentially harmless behaviors, like seeing a frown on someone’s face. In my book, Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP, I have coined a term for these states: “Chronically Regressed Trance States of Identity.”

5. Create Powerful, Positive, Present Time Anchors

What is the antidote to Chronically Regressed States? Think of several different memories of times when you were at your best in various ways — when you felt very relaxed, very joyful, very witty, very curious, very alert, and very generous. As completely as you can, relive each memory until that good quality comes alive in you. Then anchor that quality by pressing your thumb and forefinger together (or by creating some other simple physical anchor of your choice). Rehearse this several times with each memory until the feeling comes back automatically when you press your fingers together (or use the anchor you created).

Follow this process with several of these qualities using the same anchor each time so that you stack the anchor with positive associations. In other words, so that when you press your fingers together, all the qualities come alive in you.

This stacked anchor will enable you to quickly feel interested, alert, at ease, joyful, witty, and generous. Now imagine a future movie with you approaching and talking to a woman or man you’re interested in getting to know. Trigger the anchor and experience yourself maintaining these qualities of your self-validating state regardless of her responses.

If this person “rejects” you, that indicates something about them, or about their response to the way you interacted, but it doesn’t mean anything about you, about your value, or about your ability to stay cheerful and approach someone else. First, you may cheerfully analyze your behavior and verbal communication to determine if you communicated your real intentions — just to improve upon your ability to do so. But it is an enjoyable learning process, not a life-threatening drama. And thus the delightful adventure continues!

6. Understand the Trance of Rejection

A word about rejection, while we’re on the subject. People do not reject each other. People reject behaviors based on meanings they’ve assigned to those behaviors, based on past experience they’ve had with similar behaviors.

People’s rejection of a behavior can be accurate in present time, like saying “No” to an unwanted magazine solicitation. The problem comes when people reject behaviors that have triggered chronically regressed states — states in which they experience fear and suffering.

When people behave negatively toward each other, they are not seeing each other. They are seeing projections from their chronically regressed states. When this happens, there is no real contact in present time between self-aware, self-validating adults. It’s two regressed states in a sparring match.

When you truly see another person, you recognize they are meeting the same challenge that you are meeting — the challenge of the human experience. A natural respectand even love arises from this awareness, and then collaboration is easy and enjoyable.

If you feel fear and then believe the “reality” created by fearful beliefs, you are being ruled by a chronically regressed trance state of identity. These trance delusions become very convincing and rapidly more intense when people get swept away in reactivity. In this way we reinforce each other’s fearful regressed child states.

7. You’re Relating, not Performing

Trying to perform in order to gain acceptance is an expression of fear.

You may know other men and women who seemingly find it easy to approach and connect with potential partners, and yet their lives have featured a series of short-term or broken relationships. This is a sign that the real person is not truly relating. It is a sign of a man or woman living in a child state, someone who is skilled at seeking out and “connecting” with others who are living in complementary child states. So don’t be too quick to pick dating role models based on another’s seeming courage about approaching people.

As a self-validating adult, you are at ease in your body and being. You allow thoughts and feelings to enter into your awareness without fearful monitoring. As a self-validating adult, you do not perform. Instead, you relate — an activity of generous, honest sharing of your ideas and authentic feelings, without concern about being judged. Remember: as a real adult, you know what you value and feel and you are unafraid to share. When you relate, you are in an adult state.

As an adult, you have the clarity to understand that people only judge their own projections, their own fearful fantasies. You understand that you’re never the target of judgment or rejection unless you pretend to be the projection (performing) instead of just being yourself (relating).

8. Approach Yourself First

The anchoring exercise outlined above can be a very quick and powerful way to change your state and behaviors in a given situation — to bring yourself back into a self-validating state. You will make the anchoring process much more lasting and dynamic if you resolve to approach and accept yourself.

It is crucial to realize that your primary relationship is with yourself. You are never alone. Thinking that you are alone is a deluded hypnotic suggestion. You are always with yourself! If you do the introspective, compassionate work of becoming your own best friend — transforming your inner self-talk to be a constant stream of honest, constructive evaluation, encouragement, and support — you will live a life free of fear. You will recognize the organic rush of energy you feel when approaching a potential partner as a sign of being alive. And you will appreciate the rare intensity of being alive! You will refrain from channeling that rush of vivid aliveness into enervating fearful thoughts of humiliation and abandonment, or into the struggle to possess someone.

You can see that relating to a woman or a man is a dance of exploration. The possibility of “rejection” truly is half the fun of approaching them.

To help you quickly achieve strength, clarity, and success in every area of your life, consider purchasing one or more of my survival kits: The Dating Survival Kit, The Sexual Survival Kit, and The Relationship Survival Kit. Good luck!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

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The Soft Spot Behind Anger and Fear

Summer Intensive 2013The Summer Intensive Spontaneous Solutions Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP certification just ended. It was a wonderful experience with a great group!. It was my 26th annual teaching of this course!

A distance learning student of mine coincidentally sent me this kind comment and sweet story at the start of class:  

Hi Jack,   I thought of you right away when I read this. It echos your message to us students throughout the course. Enjoy the story!   Best Wishes,Carolyn”  

THAT BIRD’S GOT MY WINGS excerpted from Practicing Peace in Times of War, by Pema Chodron :

One of my favorite stories about Jarvis Masters [a prison inmate currently sentenced to death row, who took vows as a Buddhist from behind bars] was when he unintentionally helped some other inmates connect with the absolute, vast quality of their own minds. There is a teaching that says that behind all hardening and tightening and rigidity of the heart, there’s always fear. But if you touch fear, behind fear there is a soft spot. And if you touch that soft spot, you find the vast blue sky. You find that which is ineffable, ungraspable, and unbiased, that which can support and awaken us at any time. And somehow Jarvis, in this story of trying to avert harm, conveyed this fundamental openness to the other inmates.   One day there was a seagull out on the yard in San Quentin. It had been raining and the seagull was there paddling around in a puddle. One of the inmates picked up something in the yard and was about to throw it at the bird. Jarvis didn’t even think about it—he automatically put out his hand to stop the man. Of course this escalated the man’s aggression and he started yelling. Who the hell did Jarvis think he was? And why did Jarvis care so much about some blankety-blank bird?   Everyone started circling around, just waiting for the fight. The other inmate was screaming at Jarvis, “Why’d you do that?” And out of Jarvis’s mouth came the words, “I did that because that bird’s got my wings.”   Everyone got it. It simply stopped their minds, softened their hearts, and then there was silence.”   

Thanks, Carolyn. May all beings find Peace!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

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ADD & ADHD – Limiting Beliefs Cause Needless Suffering

Confidence_jump1I want to share a post that a good friend and expert hypnotherapist, Dan Cleary, once sent to an email group. This excerpt is specifically addressing someone’s question about treating ADHD. It illustrates how a belief in a poor concept or poor interpretation of circumstances, or of yourself, can cause you to think you are disabled. Dan explains that the ADHD diagnosis may be an unhelpful interpretation of the person’s behavior that blocks the appreciation of helpful possibilities. He then shares a procedure that can help such a person connect with abilities they may be under-utilizing because they have never been taught to appreciate them.
The process Dan shares has applications beyond ADHD to skillfully help yourself or another expand capabilities that may be limited just because you are being “hypnotized” by a poor interpretation. I added numbers to the steps in Dan’s explanation and, in some places, modified his language to highlight the process.
Dan: “What if you were to consider that ADD & ADHD were mistaken evaluations of skills and abilities?
According to the studies I have read (they tend to find faults, where I find strengths ) people diagnosed with these “conditions” are mostly above average intelligence, and very skilled in certain areas (often physical skills, such as sports, but some are good at conceptual ways of thinking as well).”
Imagine that you were to ask the client what their favorite activities are and then get them to notice how they are relating to their body and their mind when engaged in the activity and how they feel when doing that activity.

1) In the case that the activity is a physical one, ask them to stand up.
2) Then anchor the strong good feelings and self-appreciation that they experience at that time (use their words and ask them questions to elicit as many expressions of their skills in that area as possible.) Anchor this state with a physical anchor such as pressing their thumb and forefinger together — their choice of hand.
3) Then have them shake like a dog getting out of the water and
4) Ask them to go to that place where IN THE PAST they have felt or BEEN TOLD that they have WHAT HAS BEEN CALLED ADHD.
5) While in that memory, create anchors associated with this “negative” state, (usually criticism from others, lack of confidence or understanding). The anchor can be just pressing the fingers of the other hand together.
6) Then, with their hands held out like cups in fromt of them, put all the feelings of one state in one hand and all those of the other state in the other hand.They get to pick which hand holds the positive feelings and which the negative.
7) Merge the anchors by having them clasp their hands together tightly and speak about the strengths they have in one hand, and what is in that other hand? And the tighter they clasp their hands, the more the hands become as one as the strengths flow everywhere.
8) Ask how quickly they can feel the strengths flowing from the areas where they are most effective to the areas that can use those strengths in new ways. Feel the flow until you can search and find that same strength wherever you look or feel. Somehow you simply know that every cell has access to the strength whenever you need it.

That’s it! Thanks, Dan! The secret is to find an ability you have, but don’t think to use in the blocked circumstances. Now that you recognize you can use it, connect it to those circumstances by the piece of theater called merging anchors — here done with clasping of hands in the above steps. Learn more about this powerful change technique and many others in my book Finding True Magic. Take one of my trainings and master them!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

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Beyond Confidence Building with Unrelenting Kindness and Encouragement

It is important to recognize our hidden beliefs about our basic nature. What’s the bottom P1010657line — do we think we are complete or incomplete? Are we full of inherent value and goodness? Or possibly without much value, flawed, and somehow needing to be improved?

If we think we have to create improvement or value in ourselves, then we are operating from negative assumptions about our nature. Many people come to therapy thinking they have to improve something about themselves without realizing this means they believe they are flawed in some way that hopefully can be fixed.They typically don’t make a distinction between their behaviors and their being. They commonly believe their behaviors determine the value of their being.

Such beliefs have profound consequences. They determine the quality of our inner dialogue which in turn determines the brightness or darkness of our inner state.

Believing that our essential value is variable, fragile, and conditional is like believing the sun is destroyed on a cloudy day and has to be recreated. This would indeed be an awesome and stressful dilemma. Do you know we once were terrified that eclipses were the destruction of the sun? For a long time we solved this dilemma of misinterpretation with magical thinking and ritual including human sacrifice.

Magical thinking persists in our analysis of our personal obstacles. And we often sacrifice ourselves to our negative magical beliefs without even realizing how absurd self-harm is. Here is a common example I encountered recently on a forum.  A hypnotherapist asked for help:

“I am seeing someone who said she has very low confidence. Does anyone have a good script for this? I really feel she needs some major confidence boosting.”

I challenge the notion of “confidence boosting” when clients bring it up. I don’t think it is useful to think of confidence as a substance that can be low, like oil in our car, and that we have to boost its volume. If we do, I think we are on a constant stressful maintenance schedule.This was my reply:

“We have natural confidence built in. It is life’s confidence in itself – the confidence to breathe us and to beat our hearts. It is always present and unwavering. If we accept that, then “lack of confidence” is seen for what it is: believing negative judgments about oneself and about life, not the deficit of some real substance. Help the client stop believing negative judgments, and their natural sense of well-being and “confidence” will emerge. If you try to “build confidence” based on some type of performance, you are still encouraging the client to believe in judgment, even though it may be positive. I think it is better to connect with the aliveness that embodies confidence and doesn’t rely on good or bad judgment about our ability to do things.”

I meet the same concern almost every day with clients. They believe they can’t do something because they don’t have enough confidence as if it was a magical psychic substance that could be produced or boosted. I think we “can’t” do things because we choose not to because we are listening to judging thoughts (and seeing bad pictures) in our mind.

Dissipate the judging thoughts (clouds) and the ever-present fully complete confidence (the sun) is right there shining on everything. Yes, ending the influence of the judgments takes effort. If we think we are trying to create a sun of confidence by our efforts, it is a fearful effort because we could fail! But when we understand that the ‘Sun’ of confidence is already perfectly there, dissipating negative self-talk is a vibrant effort free of fear and joined with the knowledge that success is assured. We learn to draw on the energy of the ‘Sun’ to do it!

Spend some time believing that your “missing quality” is fully present and that your task is merely to experience its rays burning off the cloud cover as you contemplate the unsubstantial nature of the clouds. While your actions can be evaluated, negative judgments of your being have no merit. . .ever! Examine them, and ask for the evidence that justifies them. There isn’t any!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

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Posted in Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Overcoming Fear, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How To Avoid Accomplishing the Wrong Goals

Have you ever worked really hard to accomplish a goal and when you did accomplish it you felt a big let down? This kind of disillusionment is very common. Ambitious and dynamic people can have a string of successes, each on as empty as the one before. When this happens it can lead to deep despair and even suicide (not good!) or to  an intense search for meaning (which is a good thing!).

One way to understand this problem is to examine this challenge is to look at Intentions vs. Expectations.

Living by intention is the flip side of living up to expectations. Living by intention strengthens and enlivens, while living up to expectations perpetuates cycles of hope, fear, stress and bewilderment.

This emotional turmoil and lack of mental clarity causes us to constantly choose the wrong goals as the solutions to our problems.

A client recently complained of stress and feeling that there was nothing he cared about. I asked him what he would do if he was financially free. He immediately said, “Play golf all over the world.” When I asked him why he wasn’t pursuing this dream he said, “Too many expectations.” I asked, “Whose expectations of what?” He said, ” My own.” But it became clear that what he thought of as “his own” expectations was really fear of what others would think of him.

When he realized that what he thought of as his internal standards were really fears of being judged by others, he began to release them. He was then able to begin planning a life that included golf trips instead of yearning for a ‘forbidden fruit’ unattainable because of required expectations.Expectations  that block us in this way always come from outside us, from others, even though we think of them as our own. They do not come from our true center. They are false to us and they reinforce the dreaded sense that we are not good enough as we are. Trying to accomplish a goal to fix yourself or make yourself worthy is a hellish activity that creates stress, struggle, fear, and disappointment.

If this is a trap you also need to get out of set an intention (a daily intention, preferably when you first awaken) to notice something you feel grateful for. Appreciate your health, your good qualities, or remember specific things you do that benefit yourself and others. This is a healing practice. Do it often, just for a moment, throughout your day.

If you take a few minutes first thing in the morning when you wake up to set this intention and to visualize and sense yourself practicing it through the day, you’ll quickly find that living by intention nourishes your soul.

I often have helped clients in the midst of an experience of anxiety or despair identify and focus on something for which they feel grateful. To their astonishment, the seemingly intractable negative emotions dramatically and effortlessly disappear, replaced by an ease and lightness.

Imagine yourself free of the hope for success and the fear of failure to find your true interests and intentions. A true intention is an inspiration that comes from your True Self — a natural impulse to share life with all that lives. True intentions heighten your enthusiasm for the sheer joy of living, and free you from the fear of not measuring up to some standard of success and failure(aka, what others think).

In the atmosphere of joy your true interests and goals become apparent to you. Accomplishing your true goals is the way you celebrate life with everyone.

You can think of the practice of nurturing intention as a simple mental shift, like the shift from worry to prayer. When you catch yourself living under the burden of an expectation, shift to a life-affirming intention that comes from your heart. Instead of saying to yourself, “I have to . . .” say, “I want to . . .” in order to affirm your genuine desire — your true intention. Doing this, you will quite naturally begin to recognize the difference between your genuine desires to live fully and your false desires to fulfill expectations. In this way, expectations will stop blocking you, and you will find ways to incorporate into your life interests that enthuse you.

May each day of your life flow from the True Intention of your Spirit!

This CD/Mp3 can help. Please take a look: Clarifying Confusion

 

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ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers:

  • Private Sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching, live and via Skype or phone internationally.
  • Keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

 

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

 

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Posted in Addictions & Compulsions, Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Overcoming Fear, Parenting, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized, Veterans, War and Peace, Zen Buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ego – The Fearful Sense of Separation

I have had many people come in talking about ego lately. It got me thinking. All problems arise from the sense of limited fearful separation — what we call ‘ego.’ I started contemplating this daily on my morning walks. I examined my fearful concerns and saw that my problems and suffering were due to considering myself limited and separate from needed support. I became aware of a more subtle process of insisting that this condition is true, and of a stiffening in response to this belief that occurred. This I realized was  ego attachment.

It’s an insult to “ego” to think that problems, defined as unnecessary emotional suffering, are optional! We are not required to have them, and in fact, we never have a justifiable reason to suffer fearful emotional distress! Of course we will experience sadness and grief at the loss of a loved one, but without a sense of ego, of limited separate unsupported self, we do not suffer distress — in the sense of being diminished or weakened or deprived by the experience of loss. Without the ego, we don’t create a mournful story which we constantly replay to depress ourselves.

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Once on one of these walks I realized that I was being pulled into a fearful state because a particular outcome I wanted had not yet appeared, nor the funds to realize it. Then I realized that not getting what I wanted did not require me to shrink in any fearful way. I saw how insistently desiring this outcome was creating a temptation to feel fearful and small. As this attachment arose again and again, I repeatedly released it, relaxing as best I could. Patiently doing this repetition, I was able to enjoy a growing sense of lightness and openness in my chest, and clarity in my mind.

Then I went further, examining the desire to grasp ‘Jack’, to be ‘Jack’, to identify as this body/mind. I repeatedly practiced releasing my hold on being ‘Jack’, on wanting to survive as this body. Releasing at the root of ego in this way made it very clear that stress, and having problems are entirely optional. Don’t get me wrong — it is fine to want to survive and thrive — but getting into fearful tense states is not helpful or required to survive and thrive!

Does it seem outrageous to think in this way — to question the idea that you are your body/mind/personality? Since we all will have to release this attachment at the moment of death, why wait until we are forced to let go? If we wait it may seem very scary at the moment of death. Don’t you think it would be better to practice now, so that letting go of the body at the moment of death could actually be effortless and without distress?  Not only that,  practicing releasing this attachment now makes it possible to live a life free of suffering and full of joy!

This is one way to define an enlightened being: someone who is completely free from body/mind/personality identification. Some people hear this and think it means you become a zombie. Actually, body/mind/personality functions just fine, and even much better, once the grasping identification is released. Releasing attachment doesn’t destroy anything of importance, rather it is like taking all the kinks out of a garden hose so the water can flow freely and powerfully.

Try repeatedly asking yourself, “Can I let go of being (your name), can I let go of thinking I am this body?” It doesn’t matter whether the answer is “yes” or “no.”  Either one is OK. Just notice your inner feeling each time you ask. No need to be compulsive about repeated asking – it is better if it is relaxed and occasional but with genuine interest. Good luck!

Questions and sharings are welcome. Email: jack@FindingTrueMagic.com.

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ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers private sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching. He offers live trainings and distance learning trainings in Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP. Jack also presents keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

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Posted in Addictions & Compulsions, Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Death & Dying, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, learning, Overcoming Fear, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized, Veterans, War and Peace, Zen Buddhism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Conflict Transformation Class at NalandaWest

Conflict Transformation

with Jack Elias, CHT

Got difficult people? Got a difficult self?

 •Does disagreement quickly turn into conflict and inner turmoil?

•Do you shut down vs. speaking your mind?

•Do you explode with shouting and acting out?

•Do you walk away burning with resentment?

•Do you take things personally?

•Do you believe others “make” you feel bad?

•Do you believe in blame, guilt, and resentment?

•Do you believe in “should’s” and “have to’s”?

Buddhist teachings, along with insights from the art of hypnosis, can help you transform tension and confusion. Quickly shift from fear and blame into Compassionate Collaboration.

Four Classes. $20 donation/class or $60 all 4 classes.  This class was a big hit at the 2013 Nalandabodhi Sangha Retreat! 

Tuesdays: 7- 8:30 pm 

January 8, 22;  February 5, 19

NalandaWest Community Room   

                                     3902 Woodland Park Ave N.  Seattle   98103

 

Jack Elias, CHT, author of Finding True Magic, has been a practicing Buddhist for 45 years. He has been training and certifying clinical hypnotherapists for 25 years and has a private practice in Seattle.

A clip of Jack teaching a previous class, Buddha & the Hypnotist:

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Conflict Transformation at NalandaWest : $20.00 per class; $60.00 advance payment for 4 classes. Save $20.00!

Register and donate here:





 

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Posted in Buddhism & Psychotherapy, compassion, Depression & Anxiety, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, exploring consciousness, Hypnosis for Health, learning, Overcoming Fear, Parenting, PTSD, religion, self esteem, transpersonal hypnotherapy, Uncategorized, Veterans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giving Thanks for the Vastness of Blessings

My wife and I saw the movie, Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg, last night. Yesterday, November 19, was the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address (1863). Watching this excellent portrayal, I was struck by the enormous sacrifice millions of people made for the sake of freedom and human dignity, all mixed in with various flavors of self interest.

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I know a fair amount about the Civil War but I haven’t felt profound appreciation for the people of that time. I haven’t ever taken the time to deeply contemplate the pressures on Lincoln, nor the depth of forbearance, courage, wisdom, and compassion he must have had to endure and accomplish his goals. This movie, even though it is “just” a movie, made it easy to appreciate the intensity of the struggle for the whole nation and amongst the lawmakers on every side of the issue of slavery, states rights, and democracy. As a friend of mine clarified, “If it does all that, it is not “just” a movie, but a work of art.”

I marveled that anything at all was left of the nation after seeing the horrible strife and destruction this movie portrayed. It is truly a miracle that the desire for democracy and the rule of law as set in the Constitution survived, and that people who were so bitter in defeat were able to turn towards reconstruction as coarse and crude as it would be.

The movie made me appreciate the vastness of benefit that has come down to me, not just from Civil War times, but through the ages in countless ways and as a result of tremendous sacrifice.

I hope you find time to be still and open your own heart to the vastness of blessings that come to you every moment, every day in the guise of both “good” and “bad circumstance. May we continue to deepen our capacity to be compassionate, wise, and courageous. May we always give thanks because we are always acutely aware of our blessings.

Good luck!

___________________________________________________

ftm-front-cover-finalJack Elias, CHT is founder and director of the Institute for Therapeutic Learning in Seattle, Washington. He is the author of Finding True Magic: Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP, a book and course which blends NLP training modalities with philosophical traditions of both East and West. Finding True Magic now available as an eBook!

Jack offers private sessions in Lucid Heart Therapy and Life Coaching. He offers live trainings and distance learning trainings in Transpersonal Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy/NLP. Jack also presents keynotes and other programs to teach audiences how to use the techniques of  Transpersonal Hypnotherapy/NLP to achieve success,confidence, and a consistent sense of well-being.

Book Jack Elias to speak to your group or organization.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in compassion, Death & Dying, Emotions: Becoming Skillful, learning, Uncategorized, Veterans, War and Peace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments